Van driver, 23, admits killing British rapper Cadet in horror crash when he ploughed into taxi taking him to university gig
- Jordan Birch, of Woore, north east Shropshire, hit taxi on morning of February 9
- The collision took place in Wrinehill, near Betley, Staffordshire, at around 1.30am
- London-based musician Cadet, real name Blaine Johnson, was killed in the crash
- Birch today pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at crown court
A 23-year-old motorist has today pleaded guilty to causing the death of popular rapper Cadet by dangerous driving.
Jordan Birch, of Woore, Shropshire, appeared at Stoke Crown Court to face charges over the death of the 28-year-old rapper.
The South London-based musician, whose real name was Blaine Johnson, was travelling in a taxi on his way to perform at Keele University when the collision happened in the early hours of February 9.
The 28-year-old musician, real name Blaine Cameron Johnson (pictured in 2015), was a passenger heading to the Staffordshire gig when a Toyota Prius and a red Vauxhall Combo van crashed on Main Road, in Betley at 1.30am
Cadet was set to perform at Wireless Festival 2019. Despite efforts by paramedics to revive him, Johnson died at the scene, while the two drivers, men aged 36 and 22, were taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital with serious injuries
Birch was driving a Vauxhall Combo van on the A531 Main Road in Wrinehill, near Betley, when he was in a collision with a Toyota Prius taxi driven by Kashif Usman.
He also today admitted causing serious injury to Mr Usman by dangerous driving.
The defendant, Mr Usman and three other passengers in the taxi were taken to hospital for treatment following the collision.
Prosecutor Paul Spratt said: ‘Three other people in the Toyota Prius all sustained injuries. Those injuries will form part of the narrative of the case.
‘The issue of alcohol is to the fore in the case and will form part of the narrative.’
Peter Cooper, representing Birch, said the defendant has no recollection of the crash.
A statement from Johnson’s bereft family shared on his Instagram read: ‘We the family of Blaine Cameron Johnson known as Cadet (Underrated Legend) would like to share the sad news that during the early hours of 9th February 2019 he passed away as a passenger in a taxi, en route to a performance’
Cadet was to perform at Keele University Union. A picture shared by his photographer shows them heading to the university before the crash. Tributes poured in on social media for the rising star from a stunned British music scene
He told the court: ‘He is appalled and he offers his full apology. Not that it changes anything, but he offers a full apology to members of the bereaved family.
‘He is not hoping to gain by it. He just wants to say it. He does not recall the accident.’
Mr Cooper added: ‘He is under no illusions – he is going to serve a long prison sentence.’
Judge David Fletcher ordered a pre-sentence report to be prepared by probation and adjourned the case until January 9. Birch’s unconditional bail was extended.
Following his death, a statement from Johnson’s bereft family shared on his Instagram feed read: ‘We the family of Blaine Cameron Johnson known as Cadet (Underrated Legend) would like to share the sad news that during the early hours of 9th February 2019 he passed away as a passenger in a taxi, en route to a performance.
‘Right now we the family appreciate your patience and will share with you any information as and when we can. Thanks for your support in advance. Love The Johnson Family #cadetcadet #imbuff #underratedlegend #ripcadet.’